Scripture Text: John 13:21-30 Title: Satanic Betrayal

Question of the Day: When and how does Satan enter a person to do a dastardly deed?

The study of the life of Judas from the gospels is very instructive. We know very little about him; he was specifically chosen by Jesus to be one of His closest followers; he was carefully chosen after Jesus had spent all night in prayer; he was the treasurer for the group because he held “the bag” of money; before today’s passage he had gone to the chief priests and offered to deliver Jesus to them at an opportune time when there were no crowds around Him; and he had just had his feet washed by the Lord, the Master, as He gave Judas one more opportunity to repent before he betrayed Him. In all of this, how did Judas end up being demonically inspired by the devil himself so that he would betray the Lord?

In today’s passage Jesus finally unveiled to the disciples who the betrayer was, but they missed His cue until Judas showed up in the garden with the mob. Here is today’s text: “When Jesus had said that, He was deeply troubled and got all chocked up in His spirit and said, ‘The absolute truth is in these words: one of you will betray Me.’ The disciples looked at each other in shock and wondered who He was talking about. Now the one next to Jesus at the table was that disciple that Jesus loved. Simon Peter then motioned to him to ask Jesus who He was talking about. So he leaned over to Jesus and said to Him, ‘Lord, who are you talking about?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is the person to whom I give this piece of bread after I have dipped it in the sauce.’ And when He had taken the piece of bread and dipped it, He then gave it to Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son.

“When Judas had received the piece of bread from Jesus, Satan entered him, and Jesus said to him, ‘What you are going to do, do it quickly.’ Now no one at the table why Jesus said those words. Some of them thought that because Judas was their treasurer Jesus had told him, ‘Go and buy something that we need for this feast,’ or that he should give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had received the piece of bread from Jesus, he immediately left, and it was then after dark.” It is in this scene that the devil entered Judas to make sure that the betrayal took place.

Jesus had mentioned in John 6:70-71 that one of the disciples had a devil, and John, looking back on that occasion years later realized that He had been speaking about Judas. The disciples were a rowdy bunch who were always jockeying for a prominent position in this new kingdom that Jesus was setting up. It was here at the final Passover meal, though, that He chose to finally unveil who the betrayer was, and He did it in a unique way. John recorded here that he was sitting on one side of Jesus, and it seems that Judas was on the other side—a place of prominence and honor to be next to the Master. Then Jesus chose to make a statement to the whole group revealing that one of them was the betrayer.

This statement surprised and shocked the disciples and they reacted in bewilderment. Next Jesus chose to tell them that it was the person to whom He gave the piece of bread after He had dipped it in the common dish. So He then dipped the bread and handed it to Judas—and it is at that point that Satan entered him. Judas knew and the devil knew and the Lord knew that he had gone to the chief priests and offered to betray Jesus so that He could be arrested when there were no crowds around, and this was Jesus’ signal to Judas that the time had come. Satan has his victim firmly in his grasp: Judas had been offered thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus, so Jesus urged him, “What you have planned to do; do it quickly!”

It is then recorded that Judas left the group—for the last time. He went to the chief priests, got the mob together and marched to the Garden of Gethsemane where he knew Jesus was with the other disciples, walked brazenly up to our Lord and said, ‘Hail, Master!” and kissed Him, and his job was done. Nothing is recorded more about this except that John reacted with surprise that it was Judas who turned on the Lord. Later it is reported that Judas realized what he had done and went to the chief priests with the thirty pieces of silver wanting to undo the dastardly deed that he had done. It is just like in the Garden of Eden: when an act of evil is done, the consequences are permanent and devastating. You cannot undo an evil act. Though he felt so bad about it he threw the pieces of silver into the temple and went and committed suicide by hanging himself.

What the life of Judas teaches us is the depth of the wickedness that is in each heart of man. We cringe to think that we could do such a thing, but the Scriptures unveils for us fully the wickedness of our hearts, and what our lives would be like if we didn’t fully repent and become born again. The Scripture records that Judas “repented”, and what it means is that he felt deep remorse for his sin, but it was too late; he had given himself totally over to Satan and the end was devastating. Satan does that sort of thing…

Prayer: Lord, thank You so much for cleansing my heart and creating in me a clean and a new heart. Guide me in “…the paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake” so that I can now and forever give glory and praise to Your great name. Thank You too for keeping my life from such evil. Amen!

Practical Hint: Know when the enemy is stalking you; be ready; resist; and stand firm!